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Thread: How do I take back control of my phone

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    Default How do I take back control of my phone

    I have a recently purchased Google Pixel 2 XL and all its current content was copied over from my old Samsung S4 - not quite the seamless process I was led to believe but I got most of the information across.

    All my contacts and photo folders copied across Ok and were working fine. Today Mr Android tells me I need to update the operating system to the absolute latest android version which was quickly done.

    But now Mr Android has decided it knows better than me and has completely deleted my Pic folder and created its own - based around its own ideas of subject matter - on of which is selfies - so any pic that has a human face in it has been moved to a selfie folder, not the previous folders of Me, Mum, Brothers, Friends etc. Oh I had 6 different car folders by model name - now all there is, isone folder it calls cars. Yes all the actual pics are still there listed in date order but the folder structure has been completely destroyed.

    Also it wants me to use the "cloud" - I have previously told it to #@&% off but it really wants me to use it which I have no intention of doing but it is still wanting me to sync and go to the cloud.

    Oh - why do I need a gmail address - I dont want one but had to create one for the old Samsung but I never used it and it was generally ignored - not any more - to create a contact in my contact list I have to attach it to a gmail address - sorry but I dont want it attached to a gmail address, I just want a contacts list.

    Why do I need a gmail address to use my phone - dont need it, dont want it but apparently the phone wants it.

    So how to I take control of my latest smart phone so it does what I want it to do and not what Mr Google Android wants it to do.

    Also, if I go back and create my photo folders again, will Mr Android take them away again with the next update.

    Garry



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    Sorry to hear what happened but not surprised. Some reasonable degree of privacy and control is still possible on a PC, though it is is becoming increasingly difficult with successive releases and updates of Windows. We won't even talk about OSX. But phones are a lost cause and have been for a long time. Effectively we get to choose Android or IOS. The design philosophy of both of them is that they know better than the user.

    The only thing I can think of that you could do is jailbreak the phone and install a custom rom, which comes with its own set of disadvantages. You may also want to check the backups on Google and see if your folders have been preserved there, though I doubt it. Personally I don't leave things that I want to keep on my phone. I even backup my sms's and transfer photo's to my computer periodically.

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    A phone that is made by Google would be a nitemare for me.
    Individuality is not wanted and not respected these days. You must follow what your phone dictates and many like it that way.
    You are told that you must update everything otherwise your life is not secure.

    Personally I have found that updating ALWAYS led to less than what I could do before.
    So I stick to my old skool philosophy: if it aint broke don't fix it.
    ...and that has ALWAYS done me well.

    I currently have a phone that came with Android 8.0 and that is where it will stay. It actually is an improvement since Android 4.xx but 5/6/7 were mostly rubbish.
    Then again every company has it's own custom ROMs with individual features so I can not generalise here, but if I have finally found something I am happy with, I am sure as Hell not going to allow any update to change it. Just have to persevere the nagscreens if they can't be disabled and have data online only when REALLY needed.
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    Hahaha, you bought a Google phone & you want control, hmm.

    I have no idea what it will do to your folder structure if you personalise it, I guess that's your experiment.

    As for gmail address; all android apps, free or purchased, are from the Google Play store, to have any of them on your phone you must have a Google account/ID, to have a google ID you must have a gmail address, it's free of course, however annoying it can be.

    The reason your contacts app wants to attach your contacts to your gmail address is so it can be backed up in the cloud for you
    1: if you lose or damage your phone, as soon as you sign in to Google/gmail on your new phone or tablet, your contacts list will be automatically downloaded to your new device.
    2: This also gives the ability for your contacts list to be changed & updated across all android devices you own with input to one device.
    3: this also makes Google very happy that they can expand their database with your information.
    Last edited by Tiny; 12-07-18 at 10:44 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiny View Post

    As for gmail address; all android apps, free or purchased, are from the Google Play store, to have any of them on your phone you must have a Google account/ID, to have a google ID you must have a gmail address, it's free of course, however annoying it can be.
    That is not true!
    Never had a Google accout and have downloaded and installed hundreds of apps.

    Just copy and paste the link of the app from the Playstore in the searchboxes here:

    or here:
    to get the apk file and safely install them yourself.

    Anything dodgy comes from the app itself, NOT from sideloading them this way.
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    as mentioned it's a google phone and not a samsung and that is what google does. I just gave my daughter a Nexus and going though the setup i said no or skip where it wanted to copy phone contacts and I mentioned this to her from a privacy perspective. But she has a google account so no biggie and it's needed to load the apps.
    Look everyone is doing it. Even Microsoft with their Outlook app on your phone.

    If you don't like it....give it to me lol

    Leroy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiny View Post
    Hahaha, you bought a Google phone & you want control, hmm.
    Well it is not as bad as most makes of android phones - android already being Google does not have any of the additional bloatware that Samsung and other makers put on their phones top make the android system their own. At least there is no additional Google bloatware over and above the native android. Samsungs are even worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garrycol View Post
    Well it is not as bad as most makes of android phones - android already being Google does not have any of the additional bloatware that Samsung and other makers put on their phones top make the android system their own. At least there is no additional Google bloatware over and above the native android. Samsungs are even worse.
    While I never had a Google phone, I fully agree that Samsung are bloatware monsters having owned two and setup many more. Samsung are also the worst when it cames to data transfers with a PC, trying to force you to use their KIES spyware(or whatever it is called now), while most other phones simply show up as an external drive on the PC without installing propriety software.

    Android is a platform that Goggle 'stole', modified and then provides to the manufaturers. Then the providers do their own modifications.
    So it is really hard to predict if updates will stuff up your settings based on Google's policies or that of the providers, except in your case obviously Google

    What I really like about Android 8.0 on my Huawei Mate 10(among many other things), is the ability to take full control of the permissions. Even the stock apps that come with it warn you about acessing your IMEI, etc before you use them the first time. Every app I have installed I could block all the permissions, especially those that want your contacts and call logs and these apps still work, at least the apps I chose.
    I could hardly block any permissions with the Asus I used before on Android 7. So I don't know if that is a Google thing or the provider that gives me the freedom to do this.
    So with this seeming ability of full control I am not going to let any update stuff this up.
    Last edited by nomeat; 12-07-18 at 02:43 PM.
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    Google's smartphone system is used to provide Google with tracking information concerning all your movements. You are sharing everything you do with Google.

    If you wish to explore this further, watch some of the Defcon or Black Hat annual conference video presentations given by security experts from around the world.

    None of the so-called 'free' services provided by Google are given out of the goodness of Google's heart, but are simply ways to gather information about you...information which is shared for monetary profit. That is Google's business model and is the sole reason for their existance.

    Buy a Google product and they have by the short and curlies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garrycol View Post
    So how to I take control of my latest smart phone so it does what I want it to do and not what Mr Google Android wants it to do.
    Sell it and buy an iPhone

    A Google phone, running a Google OS, needing a Google email account and using the Google cloud was probably not a good choice of mobile phone for someone doing their best to avoid Google.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tristen View Post
    Google's smartphone system is used to provide Google with tracking information concerning all your movements. You are sharing everything you do with Google.

    If you wish to explore this further, watch some of the Defcon or Black Hat annual conference video presentations given by security experts from around the world.

    None of the so-called 'free' services provided by Google are given out of the goodness of Google's heart, but are simply ways to gather information about you...information which is shared for monetary profit. That is Google's business model and is the sole reason for their existance.

    Buy a Google product and they have by the short and curlies.
    Spot on.
    And then you get the smart home devices from Google , Apple... etc, that are "supposed to be" only listening for key words to turn devices on, or answer your questions by searching the internet for you.
    But, do we believe them, or are they actually listening in to everything we do. Privacy is now no longer.


    One way to be as private as possible, is to use a non-smart phone for calls and SMS, and a separate tablet for games and internet.

    But then again, once on the internet, you leave a trail wherever you go. Metadata and profiling everywhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteramjet View Post
    Sell it and buy an iPhone

    A Google phone, running a Google OS, needing a Google email account and using the Google cloud was probably not a good choice of mobile phone for someone doing their best to avoid Google.
    And you seriously think that an Apple phone, running an Apple OS, an Apple email account and using an Apple cloud is any better!
    Last edited by DB44; 13-07-18 at 02:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB44 View Post
    And you seriously think that an Apple phone, running an Apple OS, an Apple email account and using an Apple cloud is any better!
    But it's NOT google!!!!


    It's easy to connect a Samsung to a computer without using KIES. Run LINUX, I just plug my phone in, and it shows up like any other drive. Come to think of it, I'm not sure that I even needed KIES on Windoze when I had that OS, either.
    I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

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    No body has mentioned, but alluded to Samsung putting bloatware on their mobiles to deliberately slow those mobiles down so you upgrade to their latest, more powerful mobile. Just try and root and install new operating system and see how fast an old mobile can be./ Don't know if it gives you any more security from Google tho?
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    I choose Android over Apple simply because Android gives me that little bit more control. Yes, it is a data gathering device for Google, and respect for users and their privacy is just about zero. On the other hand it is much easier to jailbreak if you want to, there are easy alternatives to Google's app store and Google is far less aggressive in trying to lock down its infrastructure than Apple. Side loading, whilst not encouraged, is still relatively easy on Android. But try installing anything on an IPhone or IPad that is not direct from the App Store. You will need to jump through many hoops if it can be done at all, and the next update is likely to break it. Apple make wonderful hardware even post-Jobs, but their attitude is their way or the highway. Both systems are of course designed for the vast majority of consumers who don't want to do anything out of the ordinary with their devices. I use Android despite its shortcomings. It is what it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB44 View Post
    And you seriously think that an Apple phone, running an Apple OS, an Apple email account and using an Apple cloud is any better!
    100% - when we are talking about the OP avoiding Google, that it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lsemmens View Post

    It's easy to connect a Samsung to a computer without using KIES. Run LINUX, I just plug my phone in, and it shows up like any other drive. Come to think of it, I'm not sure that I even needed KIES on Windoze when I had that OS, either.
    Not with the S5 or Note 2.
    I had to use Android File Manager for Win and Mac.
    With the S7 even with the File Manager it was a bit hit and miss. Didn't try the S7 on Linux as it wasn't mine anyhow.

    Newer Linux versions may be on to something as I noticed that my Huawei doesn't show as a drive anymore either but as a media player and it's internal and external SD cards show up as folders on Dolphin. I have given away the S5 and Note some years ago so I can't try them out anymore.
    Last edited by nomeat; 13-07-18 at 11:20 PM.
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    A shame that Ubuntu Touch didn't get the attention it deserved and ironically runs perfect on Google Nexus phones. It actually still exists from these guys:
    The Nexus 5 is dirt cheap on Ebay

    I believe Fairphone 2 uses de-Google-fied true Open source Android ROMs and they also can be flashed with Ubuntu Touch but the price is hideous for a rather basic phone, although it is likely to last 10 years or more due to it's repair-ability
    Your iPhone and Samung flagships are already destined for the landfill the moment you bought them.

    I wonder what would be more embarrassing in The Scene: a three year old iPhone or a Fairphone 2 where you can pull all the guts out and put them back together again instead of twiddling with your outdated fidget spinner.
    Last edited by nomeat; 13-07-18 at 11:36 PM.
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    Just watching a crappy movie called the Circle. It's google watching lol

    ......Leroy
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteramjet View Post
    100% - when we are talking about the OP avoiding Google, that it.
    Your reasoning is a little strange. The OP expressed no desire to avoid Google. Just a simple desire for more control over their phone.

    And even if he had asked about avoiding Google, your post should have said something to the effect of if you want to avoid Google sell it and buy an iphone. Instead you posted in such a way as to imply that Apple does not have the same problems you mentioned and is somehow better.

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